Jesuits Murdered in El Salvador to Be Honored 25 Years Later at Ignatian Solidarity Network Teach-In

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Over 1,200 young people will converge in Washington D.C. to commemorate murdered Jesuits during the largest annual Catholic social justice conference in U.S.

Washington D.C. (PRUnderground) October 21st, 2014

Over 1,200 young people affiliated with Jesuit universities, high schools, parishes and other ministries across the U.S. and Canada will converge at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice from November 15 to 17 in Washington D.C. to commemorate the lives of the six Jesuit priests and two lay woman murdered in El Salvador on November 16, 1989.

The Teach-In is sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, a lay-led national social justice education and advocacy organization inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) an order of Roman Catholic priests and brothers.

Jesuit Martyrs of El SalvadorJesuit priests Ignacio Ellacuría, Ignacio Martín-Baró, Segundo Montes, Juan Ramón Moreno, Joaquín López y López, Amando López, and their housekeeper Elba Ramos, and her 15 year-old daughter Celina Ramos, were murdered at the University of Central America in El Salvador in 1989 at the hands of Salvadoran military soldiers.  It was later discovered that 19 of the 26 soldiers received training at the former U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA).  

Now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, the U.S. tax-payer funded institution’s connection to the Jesuit murders and thousands of other Central America human rights abuses mobilized a national movement to close the SOA that eventually led to the establishment of the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in the late 1990’s.  Since this time it has evolved to engage a broader range of social justice issues and is now the largest annual Catholic social justice conference in the U.S.

This year’s Teach-In keynote speakers include Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International; Michael Lee, Ph.D., professor of systematic theology at Fordham University; and Fr. Ismael Moreno Coto, S.J., a Honduran human rights activist.  Fr. James Martin, S.J., editor-at-large at America Magazine; Fr. Tom Reese, S.J., columnist at National Catholic Reporter, Caroline Brennan, senior communications officer at Catholic Relief Services, and Daniel Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, are also speaking during the event.

The Teach-in includes the national premiere of Blood in the Backyard a documentary depicting the story and legacy of the Jesuit murders in El Salvador.  Produced by Loyola Productions Inc., the documentary includes interviews with Rep. Jim McGovern (MA-2), former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador William Walker, and Fr. Jon Sobrino, S.J.

In addition to the workshops, keynote addresses, and policy discussions, participants will rally on Capitol Hill on Monday, November 17, before collectively meeting with more than 100+ Congressional offices to discuss human rights and environmental justice issues.

“Not only will the Teach-In participants commemorate the lives of the murdered Jesuits, they will put the martyrs’ legacy into action by by advocating on Capitol Hill for key issues facing people across the world today,” said Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. Kerr continued, “This is a critical time for faith-based advocates to be calling on our country’s leaders to act morally on important issues like immigration reform, climate change, and human rights in Central America.”

The general Teach-In schedule is as follows:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Crystal Gateway Marriott, Ballroom and Adjacent Breakout Rooms

1700 Jefferson Davis Highway Arlington, VA 22202

4 PM – 10 PM

MEDIA NOTE: The premiere of Blood in the Backyard and special commemorative prayer for Jesuit martyrs will take place starting at 8 PM.  These events will coincide with memorial events at the University of Central America in El Salvador.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Crystal Gateway Marriott, Ballroom and Adjacent Breakout Rooms

8:30 AM – 9:00 PM

Monday, November 17, 2014

U.S. Capitol Building (corner of Independence & First St., across the street from the Library of Congress)

Rally – 9 AM – 9:45 AM 

Legislative Advocacy Day – 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM in Congressional Offices

Click here to view the full schedule of events.

The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice is sponsored by: Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Catholic Relief Services, Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University, Loyola University Chicago Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Maryland, University of San Francisco, Xavier University, America Magazine, Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit University, Bread for the World, Fairfield University, U.S. Jesuits National Advocacy Office, John Carroll University, Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University, Loyola Press, Oxfam America, and Villanova University.

About Ignatian Solidarity Network

The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) is a national social justice education and advocacy organization inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. ISN was founded in 2004 and is a lay-led 501(c)3 organization working in partnership with the Jesuits, Roman Catholic order of priests and brothers, and their universities, high schools, parishes, and other ministries across the U.S. ISN works with students, faculty, staff, parishioners, current and former volunteers, alumni, and others inspired by faith to work for social justice and global solidarity.

Press Contact

Christopher G. Kerr